Thursday, March 01, 2007

Seriously, how do they play outside in Europe all winter?

We're currently getting socked with an ice storm, which I'm taking as an excuse to hibernate and not do anything. "Anything," in this case, includes coming up with proper topics to blog about. Instead, once again, the random news of the week:

  • It really hasn't been a good few days for Arsenal, has it? First they lose to Chelsea in the Carling Cup final and then they get beat by Blackburn in their FA Cup quarter-final replay. I would enjoy it even more if either of the teams they lost to had been remotely likeable.

  • Arsene Wenger, possibly spurred into action by my awarding the Pissy French Bitches title to Lille and seeking to regain his tiara, has thrown a temper tantrum against the FA, the referees at the Carling CUp final, and basically anyone else he can think of. I very much doubt that it's going to do him any good -- in fact, the latest news is that Emmanuel Eboue has also been slapped with a three-match ban. Ostensibly for hitting Wayne Bridge, but I prefer to think it's because he's such an unpleasant little dickwad.

  • How much does Manchester United's B-team suck? In their FA Cup replay this week, they were up 3-0 against Reading after 6 minutes. And then did their utmost to throw the game away, eventually coming away with a 3-2 win. Basically, any time you fuck around with the starting XI, they look like complete and utter rubbish. You just have to compare them to the Arsenal second string, who are generally acknowledged to have put on a good show in their two cup matches this week. Even if they did lose.

  • Robbie Fowler is reportedly in talks to join MLS this summer. His agent is denying it, and I hope it's not true -- although I'd prefer it to seeing Fowler playing in Qatar or whatever. But somehow I feel like he should play his last game at Anfield this season and then ride off into the sunset.

  • An 11-year-old Muslim girl at a soccer tournament in Quebec was told by the referee that she had to either remove her hijab or leave the pitch. The referee cited FIFA rules stating that "A player shall not use equipment or wear anything (including any kind of jewelry) that could be dangerous to himself or another player." Which is a perfectly good rule, but I have to wonder how much damage a hijab could really do to anyone. I mean, if a piece of cloth is really so dangerous, then maybe they should make footballers play naked. Or at the very least they should ban Ronaldinho from wearing that stupid headwrap. Anyway, the situation has now been referred to FIFA to discuss at their meeting this weekend. So you know they'll come up with a sensible solution as usual.

  • And finally, as the frivolous palate-cleanser after that last item: Victoria Beckham is now a blonde. I dunno, I kind of like it.


Jones said...

Don't forget Arsenal losing to PSV in Champions League. I know it's kind of old news at this point, but I feel that three results makes for a nice round tale of woe.

I heard about the hijab thing too, and the thing I wondered is if this girl, like so many girls do on a day to day basis, had her hijab fastened with pins of some kind. Because I can see how that would fall under the dangerous jewelry/adornment rule. Although it was never enforced consistently when I was a kind, I do remember sometimes they made girls take out metal barettes and stuff.

On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to wear a hijab for sports without those sort of fastenings. Just the other day I watched a German newsclip about at team for girls of Morrocan heritage in the Netherlands, and several of the girls featured wore the hijab. It was just a sort of sport version that was wrapped tight instead of the longer, drapey type that needs to be pinned in place. Makes sense to me, I wore a bandanna a lot when I played on my high school team (as did several of my teammates), and no one ever had a problem with that.

Jen said...

That's a good point about the hijab being pinned, although if that was the case, I'm surprised that none of the news stories mentioned it. But yeah, we used to have to take off barrettes and stuff sometimes too. Never consistently.

(As an aside: I have never understood those people who show up for games all blinged up and wait for the referee to make them take it all off. You KNOW you're not allowed to wear jewellery, so why fuck around and delay things? So annoying.)